Our outpouring of compassion will vanquish moral bankruptcy

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, AZ. (photo: Ross Franklin / AP Photo)

So many of us are deeply wounded by Trump’s immigration policies and what they reflect about our less welcoming, more calloused new national norm.

By Daniel Weiner | The Seattle Times | Jun 20, 2018


To deliberately subvert divinely inspired ideas to absolve the inhumanity of imprisoning children, or to glean political advantage to enact even more draconian measures against the most vulnerable, crosses some kind of unseen line . . . .


Many have marveled at the citing of sacred texts to support even the most heinous of thoughts and acts. Others still have struggled to understand the mind and heart that could do such damage to holy writ. And people of faith take unique exception to the mangling of words that bind them to God.

And so, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubled down on rooting an immigration policy of family separation in the holy justification of biblical texts, faith communities across the ideological spectrum united in opposition to a perversion that defied even our most jaded expectations for this administration’s chutzpah.

The outrage goes beyond the gall of employing a text as cover for a policy that embodies the very inverse of its meaning, or omitting the myriad expressions of compassion and welcome that represent the fullness of the Bible.

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UN officials condemn arbitrary arrest of Palestinian children

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Hundreds of Palestinian children were detained by Israel in 2017, some without charges. (photo: Reuters)

UN reports at Human Rights Council in Geneva show Palestinian living conditions severely worsening over the past year.

By Barbara Bibbo | Al Jazeera | Mar 20, 2018


“Half a century of occupation has taken a heavy toll on the human rights of virtually every Palestinian, regardless of where in the occupied territory they reside. The feelings of despair among Palestinians in the face of these developments cannot be overstated. . . . [Human rights violations include] home demolitions and forced evictions, restricted access to services, threats of violence — including violence at the hands of settlers — restrictions on freedom of movement, and a strict residency regime for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.”
— Kate Gilmore, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights


United Nations officials condemned the continued arbitrary detention of Palestinian children by Israel saying the practice has become “systematic and widely spread.”

A series of UN reports presented at the Human Rights Council shows how the living conditions of Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza have dramatically worsened over the past year, and how children are bearing the brunt of the Israeli occupation, said Kate Gilmore, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights.

ÆThe past year saw hundreds of Palestinian children detained by Israel, some without charge under administrative detention,Æ Gilmore said, addressing the council in Geneva on Tuesday.

“The impact of the conflict on the lives of children is entirely unacceptable. In this year alone, six children have been shot and killed in the context of protests.”

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Israel holding over 300 Palestinian minors in prison

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16-year-old Ahed Tamimi listens to her lawyer under a guard’s watchful eye before a hearing at Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Jan 15, 2018. (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)

There are hundreds of Palestinian children like Ahed Tamimi, held without bail until the end of their trials.

By Joshua Leifer | +972 Magazine | Jan 21, 2018


“The routine decision, prior to sentencing, to imprison a person who has not been convicted until the end of legal proceedings, in fact empties the legal process of substance.”
— Amit Gilutz, B’Tselem spokesperson


While the case of Ahed Tamimi has garnered international media attention, the Israeli military prison system’s treatment of Ahed and her mother is not unique. Israel Prison Service (IPS) statistics published by Israeli anti-occupation organization B’Tselem earlier in January reveal that Israel is holding over 300 Palestinian minors in prison. Over 180 of those minors are being held in detention until the end of legal proceedings, without having been convicted, like Tamimi.

According to IPS data handed over to B’Tselem, as of the end of November 2017 there were 5,881 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, of whom 1,775 were being detained until the conclusion of legal proceedings. Over 400 were administrative detainees, including three women and two minors (aged 16 and 18). Administrative detention is a measure Israel uses to detain Palestinians (and some Jews) indefinitely without charge or trial. It is meant to be adopted rarely and with moderation. In practice, however, Israel uses administrative detention as a first, not last, resort.

In total, 2,200 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails without having been convicted of any crime.

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Muhammad Ali’s Son Detained … Again

House Democrats Hold Forum On Trump Administration Immigration Policies
Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali participate in an immigration enforcement forum with Democratic members of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol on Mar 9. (photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

A month after being detain while returning to the U.S., the son of “The Greatest” was detained again before boarding a domestic flight in Washington, D.C.

By Marissa Payne and Des Bieler / The Washington Post
March 10, 2017


“We must step into the ring and fight this thing and keep fighting it until it’s done.”
— Khalilah Camacho-Ali, wife of the late Muhammad Ali


A month after Muhammad Ali’s son and his mother, Ali’s second wife Khalilah Camacho-Ali, were detained in a Florida airport allegedly for their “Arabic-sounding names,” he says he was held up again, this time at Reagan National Airport on Friday. He and his mother had come to Washington to lobby to end racial profiling, and he was trying to board a flight back to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A lawyer for Ali, Chris Mancini, said that as the son of the former heavyweight champion was trying to board a Jet Blue flight, he was detained by Department of Homeland Security officials for about 20 to 25 minutes. According to comments Mancini made to the New York Daily News, they rejected his identification and repeatedly asked where he was from, before allowing the 44-year-old to board after he produced his U.S. passport.

“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said of the Alis’ trip to D.C. in remarks to the Associated Press. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”

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Detained Afghan family bound for Washington State

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Attorney Robert Blume, who represents the family, speaking to reporters in Los Angeles. (photo: Nick Ut / AP)

Government officials said the family members were given back their passports and visas and will be interviewed April 5 in Seattle to determine if they are eligible to use those visas to remain in the United States.

By Amy Taxin / The Associated Press via The Seattle Times
March 6, 2017


“It is a victory in a battle that shouldn’t have been fought. The government swung and missed on this issue, and they just got it wrong.”
— Attorney Robert Blume


An Afghan family of five who traveled to the United States on special visas and were detained by immigration officials at the Los Angeles airport were released from custody Monday, according to the U.S. government and the family’s attorneys.

The mother, father and their three young sons, including a baby, arrived at the airport Thursday for a connecting flight to Washington state, where they planned to resettle.

Instead, U.S. immigration officials detained them and split them up. They planned to send the mother and children to a detention center in Texas, but lawyers intervened over the weekend and got a federal judge to quash the transfer.

Homeland Security officials haven’t said why the family was held, while immigrant advocates asserted in a court petition that there was “absolutely no justification whatsoever.”

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Afghan Family, Visas in Hand, Detained in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles International Airport (photo: Patrick T. Fallon / Reuters)

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the U.S. government was detained after flying into Los Angeles, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed Saturday.

By Nicholas Kulish / The New York Times via The Seattle Times
March 5, 2017


“I’ve never, ever heard of this happening. They go through so many layers of security clearance, including one right before they get on the plane.”
— Becca Heller, Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project


An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the U.S. government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed Saturday.

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Saturday evening issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the mother and children from being transferred out of the state. The order, by Judge Josephine L. Staton of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, arrived as they were about to be put on a plane to Texas, most likely bound for a family detention center there, lawyers said.

The scene at the airport was “chaotic, panicked, it was a mess,” said Lali Madduri, a lawyer with the firm Gibson Dunn, which is representing the family pro bono. “The whole time the children are crying, the woman is crying. They can’t understand what’s going on.”

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